On the EDge: Time for St. George City Council to stand up for everybody’s rights

OPINION – “I’m not prejudiced, some of my best friends are (fill in the blank).”

Amid the flare of anger ignited when the City of St. George turned off the music for a planned Halloween dance and celebration, another important issue was placed before the City Council last week that has even more importance and impact: the desire for an ordinance to protect members of the city’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community.

While a crowd danced out front of the council chambers and others awaited their turn to address the representatives about their “Footloose” policies, another group sat in solidarity.

They wore red shirts as a symbol of unity as they asked the council for protection from a homophobic world.

It’s a tossup, really, whether they will get what they want and so desperately need.

The Southern Utah LGBT community has tried before to seek ordinances that would protect it from unreasonable treatment in the housing and employment areas.

The results were, of course, predictable: no dice. Of course, what else would you expect from a bunch of narrow-minded old fussbudgets who would deny our young people an opportunity to meet socially and dance somewhere other than a church meeting hall?

It is remarkable to me that at this point, we would still have this conversation about discrimination. I thought that what this nation went through in the ‘50s, ‘60s, and ‘70s had moved us to a point where we would guarantee equality for all regardless of race, religion, gender, or gender orientation.

I guess not.

That is why the city’s diversity numbers are so embarrassing as the white flight that once took place mainly from urban to suburban areas spread across state lines. St. George was on the receiving end of a number of people who migrated this way in the mid-‘90s after riots and earthquakes disrupted the Southern California tranquility. The only diversity that came from that was a slight dip in the predominance of the predominant religion in Southern Utah. Other than that? It remained, overwhelmingly, a bologna sandwich on white bread with mayo kind of place. I mean, how else would you describe a community that is 87 percent white?

The thing is, members of the LGBT community come in all colors, practice a wide variety of faiths, come from a number of socio-economic groups.

But, even though outwardly the LGBT may blend in with the mainstream, many are reluctant to disclose their sexual orientation for fear of losing their jobs, being banned from renting a home or apartment, or being generally ostracized by those who sit in judgment.

So they keep quiet, fearing the consequences of what might happen should they be outed.

That is no way to live.

It takes courage to come forward, especially in a culture where friends and neighbors would suddenly stop being so friendly or neighborly if they knew your sexual orientation.

It also must strike an incredibly harsh blow upon the LGBT community when the people elected to represent everybody are doing their best to prevent them from having the same civil and human rights as their friends, family, and neighbors.

It doesn’t impact most people in Southern Utah because of the overwhelming dominance of the culture. You already are part of the club, and almost everybody else is just like you and even if you bend or break a few rules along the way, you won’t be shunned or ridiculed by false, ugly stereotyping.

You won’t hear people whisper, as you walk away, that you just don’t belong here because you are “different.” You won’t be humiliated by a landlord or businessman who won’t rent to you or give you a job because they don’t want “your kind” around. You won’t hear “Well, if you don’t like it here, go somewhere else. We don’t want you here anyway.”

Because there are people here who do just that, St. George and Southern Utah in general must protect everybody’s civil rights.

It’s sad, after living through the era when people marched and, in some cases, were killed, during the struggle for equality, that we have to go through all of this again, but I guess it is human nature to always need somebody to look down upon, to abuse with our innate cruelty, to despise simply because they are not exactly like the rest of us, whether it is a matter of sexual orientation or race or religion.

I would still like to believe that beneath all this grit and the thick layers of ignorance, there is still beauty within humanity, that we realize, even if it is deep inside, that we have this thread that runs through all of us, that we are all in this thing we call life together.

I would like to think that we will arrive someday at a place where we no longer care who a person loves, how a person worships, or what their politics consist of and instead, welcome the diversity that adds depth and dimension to our lives.

Our world isn’t a simple thing of black and white, it is a colorful palette of many colors that add to the beauty that surrounds us, should we be open and willing to share it, because in the end, we all have the simple desire to live, love, and laugh freely.

The thing to remember is that with the changes of today’s world, we all must understand that we are part of a greater, global community that is drawn ever-closer with each passing moment.

But, we will fail as human beings if we suddenly think we can go it alone, that we can become exclusionary, that we can exercise our self-endowed moral judgment to ignore the needs of others simply because they do not walk the same, exact path.

It’s time, St. George City Council, to step up and do the right thing, and that starts by protecting the rights of everybody and not just the folks in the next pew.

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Ed Kociela is an opinion columnist. The opinions stated in this article are his and not representative of St. George News.

Email: edkociela.mx@gmail.com

Twitter: @STGnews, @EdKociela

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2014, all rights reserved.

 

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90 Comments

  • sagemoon November 11, 2014 at 8:44 am

    I already dread being asked about my religious/spiritual beliefs. I can’t imagine how it would feel to be ostracized for my sexual orientation. The reason why special groups need special protections is because larger groups make life miserable for them. Live and let live, people.

  • dancing infidel November 11, 2014 at 8:44 am

    “guarantee equality for all….” Hey Ed, would this include equality for the unborn fetus’s that are killed by abortion?
    “That is no way to live…” At least THEY got a chance to live.
    “having the same civil and human rights….” Do the aborted infants have ANY civil and human rights?
    “St. George and Southern Utah in general must protect everybody’s civil rights…” What about those infants civil rights?
    “we are all in this thing we call life together….” Aborted infants don’t get a chance to be in “this thing we call life”.
    “we all have the simple desire to live, love and laugh freely….” Really?!?!?!? just like those aborted infants had the “simple desire”, huh ED?
    “protecting the rights of everybody….” what about the rights of the aborted infants?? Ed, stop preaching to the choir.

    • The Rest Of The Story November 11, 2014 at 12:02 pm

      If you’re against abortion, don’t have one. If you’re against same-sex marriage, don’t get married to someone of the same sex. If you’re against dancing, don’t dance. See how that works?

      • Redrock lover November 11, 2014 at 1:17 pm

        Good points!!!

      • dancing infidel November 11, 2014 at 2:22 pm

        I am against killing innocent infants.
        It really is THAT simple. Do you see how that works?

        • Richard C. November 11, 2014 at 4:11 pm

          There is no state in this country where you can kill infants! Your tormented mind is out of control. Don’t push your agenda on others, as said above love and let live!

        • Koolaid November 11, 2014 at 5:41 pm

          What about guilty infants?

          • Zonkerb November 12, 2014 at 2:17 am

            What about the ants that people step on.? Don’t they have rights.? Who said we have the right to pull out a magnifying glass and set ants on fire.? What about their rights.? LOL

        • The Rest Of The Story November 11, 2014 at 10:56 pm

          I think most people are against killing infants. However, informed individuals also understand that a fetus and an infant are not the same thing.

          • Rachel November 12, 2014 at 8:32 am

            That is false, TROTS (and haha at your name shortened. did you do that on purpose?). Most “informed” people believe that the fetus of an elephant or a dog or any other animal is still an infant or baby. Why is it that a human is not?

  • Koolaid November 11, 2014 at 8:55 am

    If the the religious bunch can accept and tolerate their ‘prophet’ having 40 wives to include young girls and wives of other men, and consider that behavior as normal, surely they demonstrate some acceptance and tolerance same sex couples. http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/it%E2%80%99s-official-mormon-founder-had-up-to-40-wives/ar-AA7wKYC

  • Notagain November 11, 2014 at 8:56 am

    Ed, your articles are so predictable. You remind me of a traveling salesman trying to convince the folks that what your trying to sell is good for them. i.e., this little bottle of LGBT juice will make you smile/ dance and make you more human. Or ‘a little swig of this Sharia law juice is just what you need. ‘Trust me folks, this came right from Man’. (just two examples of controlling stupidity).
    The story of the Wolf & 3 little pigs stand out in my mind. ‘Drink this crap or I’ll make you drink it’.
    Ed, >75% of the folks in this town aren’t buying it and never will. Keep trying to force crap on them and watch them pay you no mind.
    You might consider moving back to Sodom & Gomorrah, they’ll buy anything.

    • Koolaid November 11, 2014 at 9:23 am

      Kinda like the religious koolaid the local clan want to drown you in? The locals need to pull their collective heads out and look around. Oh my heck! How they might be surprised that StG is no longer a little town of 3,000 inhabitants of everybody being related from generations of intermarrying cousins, aunts and uncles and other immediate relatives. Nope. The populace of 75,000 is not a result of those 3,000 inter-breeding like a bunch of hormonal rabbits on Viagra and Clomiphene. Nope. Them gosh darned outsiders have moved here, because you forgot to build a wall and establish a border patrol to keep them outsiders and illegals out. But you have a choice, either accept the fact that StG has grown as well as accept the beliefs, ideas and customs that people brought with them, or go find yourself some deserted island and move there and build your walls and set up your border patrols. If you don’t like the change, well, you can leave.

      • chris November 11, 2014 at 3:44 pm

        I am so tired to being told to “leave if you don’t like it” and I appreciate someone throwing it back at them!

      • Aaron November 12, 2014 at 9:22 am

        Hey kool-aid all this multicultural bull crap is what created Las Angeles and look LA sucks I am from there people are moving out left and right cause of all this liberal bull crap and illegals can get … out and if you don’t like saint George cause it is not multicultural enough for you get the hell in out saint George doesn’t need your kind here
        Ed. ellipsis.

    • Bologna Sandwich November 11, 2014 at 7:54 pm

      I agree with NOTAGAIN… your article talks about being tolerant yet in the same breath you publicly degrade and debase the St George people comparing them to a bologna sandwich? If you don’t like your bologna sandwich, please feel free to go somewhere else and find a sandwich that is more to your liking. 🙂

    • Aaron November 12, 2014 at 9:16 am

      I so agree with you dude, liberals always say let’s just get along and such and once you disagree with them your a racist. I am so tired about this so called gay Mafia telling everyone how to think.

  • James November 11, 2014 at 8:56 am

    The incessant drum beat that homosexuality or transgenderism is a “sexual orientation” that one is born into insults the millions who disagree and believe that it is a sexual preference and does not rise to the same classification as race and gender (not gender orientation). The DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual) once labeled homosexuality a mental disorder, but now it has conveniently created this label of “homophobia” that the radical Left slaps on anyone who disagrees with them. How intelligent is that? You fabricate studies that attempt to counter other legitimate studies linking homosexual behavior to parental modeling, and then throw labels at those who dare question the veracity of the studies. You conveniently remove labels and create new ones to suit your social agenda. And where does it stop? NAMBLA (the North American Man Boy Lovers Association) is lobbying to make pedophilia a legitimate “sexual orientation.” So answer this: By what standard does the LGBT draw the line and say “NO!” to pedophiles who want to be recognized, even protected against discrimination? What about polygamy? What about bestiality? I don’t expect an intelligent reply, only name calling and label bombing.

    • Notagain November 11, 2014 at 10:51 am

      Good reply James.
      I was going to respond to KOOLAID comments also but I think your’s is more civil and a not in your face response from the likes of me.
      And Ed, you really know how to get the community talking.

    • The Rest Of The Story November 11, 2014 at 12:03 pm

      When was the precise moment when you chose what your sexual orientation would be?

      • An actual Independent November 12, 2014 at 5:26 pm

        Exactly. I’ve often asked an anti gay individual “Remember that day when somebody sat you down and said it’s time to decide whether you’ll love boys or girls? Yeah, didn’t think so.” It doesn’t happen to straight people so I can’t imagine it just conveniently happens to gay people. I’m a straight man but I never DECIDED to be attracted to women….I just was. I’m sure it’s the same for a gay or lesbian person.

        BTW, my mantra for a couple of years now has been “If you no longer like it here, YOU can leave too”

  • ladybugavenger November 11, 2014 at 10:13 am

    Shouldnt the drug addicts have equal right also. I mean, maybe they were born that way. This world is headed for disaster. I am against same sex marriage. I watch TV and I see gay men and the women kiss. What’s up with that. I don’t want to see that- where are my rights?

    • ladybugavenger November 11, 2014 at 10:20 am

      And before someone says, I have a right to turn the channel or not watch TV, I say really, i watch the good wife, but now there are two lesbians havong sex on it. My right to watch TV has been taken away and I’m suppose to accept two guys kissing on the show Survivor. Not. So, if you tell me the answer is to put indeed on and change the channel- where did my rights go?

      • Dana November 11, 2014 at 11:23 am

        Stop being so dramatic. Your right to watch tv has not been taken away. Watch something else or turn it off.

        • ladybugavenger November 11, 2014 at 12:14 pm

          LOL….that’s what my husband told me when I took him to the hospital and I told the nurse he was having a heart attack. He said, ” don’t be so dramatic” as he then went on to have a quadrupal bypass. So I laugh at your, ” don’t be so dramatic” comment. ha ha ha

        • ladybugavenger November 11, 2014 at 2:58 pm

          Dana, when the day comes( and it will come) that you have to have a mark on your hand in order to buy food and merchandise are you gonna go with the flow and get the mark?

      • Koolaid November 11, 2014 at 2:55 pm

        Stop watching porn.

      • Richard C. November 11, 2014 at 4:15 pm

        Well then move! That’s what your ilk always tells anyone who doesn’t believe in your outlandish religion. Just curious exactly what “right” to watch TV have you lost, use that “right” to change the fricking channel. SMH

        • ladybugavenger November 11, 2014 at 6:23 pm

          I’m not part of a religious group. And it sucks I have to change the channel. I liked watching the good wife and well, survivor I tried to watch but that was a bit much for me…I’m not morman but thanks for being so judgmental and grouping me into a cult

        • ladybugavenger November 11, 2014 at 6:31 pm

          What does SMH mean?

          • ladybugavenger November 11, 2014 at 6:41 pm

            You are so hateful Richard, you should really get a grip on that before it destroys you. So what if I don’t want to watch gay people having sex on channel 2, so what if I don’t want to watch the 2 guys on survivor kiss….I’d was saying that when I lived in California, and I am saying it now and ill be saying it in the next state i live in..Sure, I have the right to change the channel. Is that all you got? Tell me toove and tell me to change the channel…..that’s what I’m talking about, you tolerance for everyone else, but no tolerance for me because I don’t want to see 2 guys kiss. All you gave me was hate!!!!

  • ladybugavenger November 11, 2014 at 10:26 am

    Not indeed…*blinders

  • patient November 11, 2014 at 10:41 am

    That is awsome James, well put. I agree.

  • My Evil Twin November 11, 2014 at 11:00 am

    ALL RIGHT ED! Now you are back to the liberal, rambling idiot we have all come to know so well and to love! I’ll admit, I was beginning to fear for your mental health, as you had been writing a lot of stuff that I agree with. Good to have you back. You LUNKHEAD! 😉
    The folks that are proposing these ordinances are not even remotely looking for “equal treatment.” They are looking for “special treatment,” and there is just no way they should get it. Let them fight the same things that the rest of us fight in looking for jobs or finding a place to live. No way should ANY “group” be given special treatment, just because of their “minority status.” Either they can do the job, or they cannot. Either they will be good tenants, pay their rent on time, and keep from damaging their homes, or they will not. Minority status has NOTHING TO DO WITH IT!

    • My Evil Twin November 11, 2014 at 11:03 am

      I know I’m going to be labeled a “bigot” and a homophobe for the above post. All I can say is, HORSE CRAP. I’m telling it like it is. I don’t give a right rip about your minority status, whether it is a sexual difference or a skin color difference, or because you are short, tall, fat or skinny.
      You are what you are, just like all the rest of us. SO DEAL WITH IT ALREADY AND STOP THE WHINING AND SNIVELING THAT LIFE IS NOT “FAIR!” Life isn’t “fair” for anybody else, either.

      • dancing infidel November 11, 2014 at 2:29 pm

        MY EVIL TWIN, I approve of your comments.
        Life itself is not equal….or fair. Those snivelers need to man/woman up and stand on their merits and abilities.
        As a minority myself, I never asked anyone for any help, special or otherwise. I did it on my own. Special treatment is NOT equal treatment.
        We can be friends.

      • Zonkerb November 17, 2014 at 10:15 am

        You are a bigot stupid twins your just pretending no to be

  • Tar'Babe '59 CHS November 11, 2014 at 11:09 am

    Hello “Mr. Ed”, I was right with you on the “monster mash dancing matter”, but I believe this whole LGBT protest, here in “River City”, has already be covered BY Federal LAW quite some years ago. See WEB sites for the EEOC & the FAIR HOUSING ACT. I know you are a very intelligent and knowledgable guy, so I’m sure you know all about these two legislations. More in the way of new ordinance or law, seems to be unnecessary redundancy to me. Lets not continue to ask for more, let’s just enforce the LAWS we already have. Just IMHO of course. …….larry

    • chris November 11, 2014 at 3:48 pm

      fyi, the fair housing act does not cover sexual orientation.

  • TracyPeek November 11, 2014 at 11:32 am

    As a former business owner and employee of several people, it offends me when you call me intolerant of someone else “rights”. As an employer I did not care what you did in your bedroom! I did not care if you were green, or orange or had a different sexual opinion. I wanted and expected GOOD employees with a work ethic the same as mine. That is all! And BTW, It is against the law ALREADY to discriminate because of your sexual orientation. I, by law, could not ask you what your sexual orientation was during an interview. I didn;t want to know. Want to NOT be discriminated against?, come prepared in an interview with the ability to do the job!

  • Paula November 11, 2014 at 12:08 pm

    How will passing a law magically transform the community into accepting LGBT individuals? Will it somehow make the whispers, ugly comments etc. go away? Once the law is passed, how will it be enforced? If I, as a landlord or employer, choose a straight tenant or job applicant over a lesbian based on factors not related to their sexuality, how do I defend against the almost guaranteed lawsuit that results? Who will pay for my legal fees, time, and damaged reputation when my name/business is unjustly associated with bigotry? It’s all fine and good to SAY just prove you didn’t discriminate, but it is costly not only financially, but in damage to reputation, etc.

  • Neil November 11, 2014 at 12:52 pm

    Great piece Ed. Thank you. You can always spot the people that are not ready to embrace love and peaceful co-existence. When you bring up the topic they’re the ones that respond with hate. What a painful way to live one’s life.

    • dancing infidel November 11, 2014 at 2:36 pm

      NEIL,
      It must be especially painful for to live your life thinking you are hated. Nobody really cares what you do in your bedroom and with whom. There are many of us who just don’t want to be forced to treat you “special”. We don’t know you. And until we do get to know, then we will decide if you deserve “special” treatment. Until then, just live your life the way you want. Don’t impose on me.

      • Neil November 12, 2014 at 10:01 am

        Way to model the hater mentality dude; “If your not one of us, you must be one of THEM!” LOL. Nobody is asking for special treatment. They’re actually asking for the “special” treatment to stop. But people that hate are so deeply indoctrinated to fear things that they don’t understand that they are incapable of seeing the ironic truth. And as far as what goes on in my bedroom …
        Ed. ellipsis.

        • My Evil Twin November 12, 2014 at 3:44 pm

          As far as what goes on in your bedroom is NOBODY ELSE’S business. And very few people are interested in knowing. BUT SO OFTEN, YOU INSIST ON TELLING!
          Shaddup about it already, and no one gives a right rip.

          • Neil November 12, 2014 at 8:57 pm

            Don’t freak out dude. My bedroom comment was only to point out the porn obsession of many of the angry prudes in this state, but the mods edited it out mid sentence. If it’ll make you feel less threatened, I’m straight. I’m just not narrow.

          • Zonkerb November 17, 2014 at 10:18 am

            You are a bigot its so funny you come here and try to pretend your not one. Lol nice try.. But we know a bigot when we see one

  • Visiting Anthropologist November 11, 2014 at 1:36 pm

    Ed, thanks for a good piece of writing.
    For a place so heavily into organized religion, it’s amazing to me how much bigotry and outright hate there is in this community. And not just about gays. What are all you people afraid of? I don’t think “Love thy neighbor” had an addendum to read “Love thy neighbor as thyself unless thy neighbor is different.”
    Differences come in so many different ways – beliefs, color, gender, gender orientation…It seems that the only acceptable kinds of people here are white, preferably male or – if female – willing to be dominated by the males in your life, members of the dominant religion, and mindless. Thinking, real thinking, seems to be off the table. You follow the herd, believe what’s handed down to you and make fun of anyone who steps outside that and tries to bring a thoughtful perspective to the community.

    The “love it or leave it” attitude here is going to insure that St. George stays behind the rest of the country for a long time to come. I laugh because this area is called Dixie because the only place I’ve encountered more backward attitudes was – of course – in the heart of the other Dixie, but these days even they seem to be further ahead than St. George.

    • Bender November 11, 2014 at 2:36 pm

      You’re not seeing people at their best when they comment anonymously here (including me). Neither are you seeing a representative sample.

  • soccermom November 11, 2014 at 3:30 pm

    Thank for this article. I agree with you. It has taken st. George A Lot to get where it’s at now. My family was one of the 1st Latino in st. George. My family endured harassment from police officials and anyone that saw us walking down the street. We were told to” go back wet backs your not welcome “, “here’s 10 bucks get lost, we don’t like your kind ” . even though we ARE US CITIZENS that’s what we got. But dad was set on raising the family here. He had obstacles but he showed a few that were are humans and deserve respect. Like he said it starts at Home. So parents remember to talk about discrimination with your kids. Guide them to be better humans. Everyone deserve to be treated as Equals.

    • tight magic undies November 11, 2014 at 6:59 pm

      Good for you Soccermom. Glad you endured. You are right about talking with your kids about discrimination. However, most of the local majority, teach intolerance of others to their children. It’s not easy for them to treat others equally, when they really believe that they are above all others.

    • ladybugavenger November 11, 2014 at 7:54 pm

      I’m white, and I can say I’ve been discriminated against…I’ve been pulled over for.no insurance when I had insurance and proof of it. I’m white, I was driving but my husband is native american. Maybe that’s why I got pulled over. Mmmm I’ll have to go think about that….but at work, i haven’t got a promotion because I’m white and because I am not Mexican or gay….how can I prove that?

  • Notagain November 11, 2014 at 6:54 pm

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but it sounds to me like a lot of the new residents of this community think it’s in my best interest, to rent out a spare bedroom to a queer,or perhaps a helpless drug user, etc. (OR ELSE). And all the Mormons, Christian folks and those who think aborting a young child is wrong,Should Leave Town, your not welcome here. Am I reading these comments correctly? Sounds like they miss their old communities (like the West L.A. area that they once called home), etc.
    If so, don’t let the door hit you in the back-side Pilgrim. And you know what you can do with your definition of diversification?

  • Maggie November 11, 2014 at 9:16 pm

    If you follow the letters in the media,online and printed,it appears that the whiners and drama queens outnumber the religious right in St George.
    Good grief,let me turn the tables….I’ll go, you all stay. It appears what was once a really nice place to live has become a haven for Kociela heads. You know the folks that live the PC life, hate but only anyone that disagrees with them, search for ways to mock and make fun of anything or anybody they do not agree with and if you are a minority you are always right about everything. God help us all ,I think some have to much time and squewd education (if any) that all they have is looking for problems to whine about. Are you aware in other parts of the world people are being murdered for some of the things you are whining about Ed. Get a life for Pet’s sake and let minorities (and we are all in some minority group)work out our problems. Ed Kociela….the Al Sharpton of St George!

  • FAG BASHER BASHER November 11, 2014 at 10:21 pm

    Growing up in southern Utah I had to deal with a lot of you Idiots.. My dad was a pro boxer and taught me how to fight. I livied in Omaha in the late 80’s when several gay guys were beat up including a good friend the later committed suicide.. My buddies and I started a group called the Fag Basher Bashers & Yes We KICKED A##.. in the 90’s I was a Valet @ a Casino that was owned by Old Vegas.. once again I was being Discriminated again.. I wrote everything down and after a few years went to the EEOC. where they did an investigation and the issued me a notice of right to sue under Title Vil of the Civil Rights Act.. this was 2/1997.. Point being- GROW UP.. Live ur life & LET ME LIVE MINE.. The Sky Hasnt Fallin?!!!

  • ladybugavenger November 11, 2014 at 10:26 pm

    To all my gay and lesbian co- workers/ friends- caring is a fault of mine, deal with it! I love you all but just don’t kiss in front of me and I won’t kiss my husband in front of you- we cool!

  • kedrick November 11, 2014 at 11:47 pm

    Man sometimes i wish my parents raised me to be a baby so i could go cry bout my problems an have yall pattin my back tellin me its ok we will keep all them hateful people away

  • Zonkerb November 12, 2014 at 2:22 am

    It seems your parents were busy raising you to be an adult and to stand on your own 2 feet

  • MommaBear November 12, 2014 at 2:46 am

    Koolaid, I wish this werent anonymous cuz we should b friends. lol. I read, i think, then i see what i think written by you. lol. awesome! Now let me say this. I am bisexual. i married the love of my life last year. thankfully the law allowed me to marry him since our parts “matched up” No marrying a man doesnt make it a phase or suddenly mean im straight, nor does having kids, which i do. The LGBT community here is grossly under-represented. I have lived in southern utah on and off my whole life. Im not LDS so in 3rd grade i was told by over 100 kids on the playground that i was going to hell. I smoke, people here look at me like im the devil. Im bisexual, Oh no! Ive hit the trifecta! Seriously. What we chose to do in our intimate lives does not give you any sort of rights to decide what we can and cannot do. It doesnt affect you. You are straight? ok. Your are LDS? ok. You want to look down on me because im not? NOT ok. You want to refuse me the same rights you were born with because im “different”? NOT OK! We are here, We are everywhere. We will not be bullied into retreat. We will fight for the rights you had handed to you. WE will demand that separation of church and state remain separate. Enough of your clever loopholes. You can hate us all you want, But at the end of the day your personal beliefs have no place in politics and law. Its called being professional, So to those who have the power to change these discriminatory laws, i say this… Dont let your personal beliefs dictate the law, that is not what this country was founded on. You have a duty as a public servant to ensure that we are all given the same rights and that we are all treated fairly and justly. We are not transients. We are functional members of your community and we deserve to be treated as such!

    • My Evil Twin November 12, 2014 at 3:52 pm

      OK, so you are bi. SO WHAT? Once again I have to say that NOBODY GIVES A RIGHT RIP. You go about your business and I go about mine. During the course of our lifetimes, we may cross paths, possibly even on a daily basis. SO WHAT? I don’t go around bragging about my “love life.” Why? Because that is between my partner/significant other/wife/sheep/cow or whatever. IT AIN’T ANY OF YOUR BUSINESS! NOR IS YOUR LOVE LIFE ANY OF MY BUSINESS. So shut up already about it, and lets talk about what matters! Like is my next paycheck going to enough to cover my expenses, or is your next meal going to satisfy you.
      GROW UP AND GET A LIFE.

      • Zonkerb November 17, 2014 at 10:21 am

        Hey stupid twins LOL I don’t give a right hip about anything because I know you are a bigot and you come here and pretend not to be one

        • California Transplant November 17, 2014 at 10:28 am

          How about a left hip? IDIOT.

          • Zonkerb November 19, 2014 at 11:30 pm

            How bout your face idiot

  • TruthSeeker November 12, 2014 at 3:33 am

    There’s a real civil rights movement, then there’s a hyped LGBT movement that masquerades and uses political correctness to its advantage, for example in a down economy is very valuable because it will ensure they get the jobs etc.
    There is a hidden agenda by the ones funding the gay rights movement and it goes along with the chemical bombardment on society which feminized men and masculinizes women, destroys the traditional family unit and decreases birthrate.
    I’m not against gay people. I have gay friends coworkers and even roommate once. I’m tolerant. I don’t care what they do in their bedrooms ha, but I’m against big govt and a fake portion of the movement forcing me to treat someone more special. That’s discrimination on me. Laws shouldn’t be made to favor any group over another. There isn’t anything to make up for like laws in place hindering gay people so why create laws favoring them.
    Also how can I disprove that I didn’t hire someone at my business because they were gay? – even though the burden of proof should be on them. They can use the fact theyre gay as a crutch and get what they want with people that weren’t even discriminating, which only causes imbalance. I may not know if someone is gay, and so how would they know I didn’t hire them because they were gay? This only makes a mess of things.
    It’s no different than pulling the race card when someone disagrees with unconstitutional legislation of a non white politician. Racism does not exist to the extent it needs to be some big discussion. It only exists now because media fuels the fire. Same thing with every other reverse discrimination thing coming down the pike. We will be called sexist if you disagree with Hilary Clinton when she’s president.

    • Koolaid November 12, 2014 at 11:40 am

      Did you support Amendment 3, a forced government act treating people unfairly? What about Proposition 8, another government law?

  • Dana November 12, 2014 at 5:29 am

    It’s sad that in 2014 we’re having this conversation. As evidenced by most of the comments here, that need isn’t likely to end soon.

  • Koolaid November 12, 2014 at 7:40 am

    What can you expect from the religious organization and its followers who created and supported Proposition 8? What can you expect from these same people who have hateful things in their religious manual telling them to hate those people? What can you say about these same people with their written words of hate in regards to others’ beliefs and religions? Please don’t try telling us how accepting you are. Your manual with its hateful doctrine tells you not to accept.

    • dancing infidel November 12, 2014 at 9:10 am

      Hey KOOLAID, I see you haven’t dropped the “KOO” and replace it with “NOT” in your screen name. But now we know why defend this LBGT made-up garbage. It really, really shows. You need to do something about your condition.

    • Koolaid November 12, 2014 at 11:38 am

      The same group is responsible for Amendment 3 in Utah’s Constitution. Why does this group feel the need to discriminate. Was this same group responsible for making interracial marriages illegal in Utah? Why did church leader (Stapley) in Utah write political letters in opposition of any equal rights movement? Why do people talk about acceptance and equality when in reality, they don’t support it?

  • Notagain November 12, 2014 at 8:49 am

    I may be wrong, but is it possible that Ed Kociela and Koolaid are the same person?
    If they are, are they front men for the ACLU? Who benefits the most from precised discrimination? Politicians & Lawyers that’s who. The rest of us are just suckers who are being use for their financial benefit. Does a Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, Al Gore, Hannity, Obama, etc. ring a bell? (snake oil salesmen).
    Have you ever seen on TV, a commercial saying something like ‘Have you ever been the subject of Discrimination of (fill in the blank)? Then you MAY be entitled to $$$ or pats on the head,(fill in the blank). Call the ACLU or your local politician NOW before the world is destroyed. All Bull crap folks.

    • dancing infidel November 12, 2014 at 9:15 am

      NOTAGAIN….I think you have a point, and may be on to something.
      However, Ed Kociela will NEVER make the kind of money Al Sharpton makes as a race baiter/hate monger. But, yes…..”All Bull crap….”

  • KOOLAID. November 12, 2014 at 9:10 am

    I appologize to every one for the inappropriate and for the stupid things that I comment on. I really have some bad habits and this one the world sees a lot I was raised by parents that told me daily they have me. They weren’t LDS but they did pray and do a lot of lsd. So I started hating all religion especially the ones that taught the truth therefore I say things against the true church all the time. I realize I will be judged as Paul in the bible for trying to destroy the kingdom of God. But as I said I’m a sick individual that needs help. Please. Keep paying your taxes so I can stay home away from normal folks and get my mess for free I have a new boy friend now (RICHARDC)and hope that he continues to be.

    • My Evil Twin November 12, 2014 at 3:54 pm

      Oh you poor baby! 🙂

      • Zonkerb November 17, 2014 at 10:22 am

        Oh you poor bigot

        • California Transplant November 17, 2014 at 10:27 am

          Ditching kindergarten again there ZONK?

          • Zonkerb November 20, 2014 at 7:01 pm

            You should know idiot

  • Visiting Anthropologist November 12, 2014 at 9:48 am

    What’s really troubling is that so many of the comments seem to come out of fear and – worse – ignorance. The gay people I’ve known do not want your jobs. They do not want any kind of handouts or special treatment. They do not want to bother you in your private and personal lives. They simply want to live their own lives without stigma and without shame or fear. One of the gay people I’ve known is my adult daughter who is a responsible citizen in another state (thank God) where most people don’t have a clue that she’s gay. She’s a beautiful, intelligent woman who works hard in her community, goes to church, and is one of the most compassionate people I know.
    As the Visiting Anthropologist I’m here to find out what makes this place tick. Believe me, I’m learning more than I bargained for.

    • dancing infidel November 12, 2014 at 2:40 pm

      Maybe you should consider visiting some other more liberal state, like maybe……New York or California. There you go……go spend some time in beautiful San Francisco . You will be received with opened arms there. Go Anthropologize there.

      • Visiting Anthropologist November 12, 2014 at 10:42 pm

        I’m here because I have extensive family roots in Utah and I am interested in their lives and in my own history. Some of them were LDS, others were not. One of them is in the the book of prominent pioneers and led a wagon train of “saints” to the Salt Lake area. One of my grandfathers and his father were killed in the Castle Gate coal mine explosion in 1924.

        I’m not sure why you think I should go to a more liberal state. Is that just another “love it or leave it” comment because I have a gay daughter? I’m here for a reason and will continue to observe and record what it’s like to live in Utah today. My family was probably here much earlier than that of many commenters.

        • dancing infidel November 13, 2014 at 8:45 am

          No one actually cares why you are here, except maybe your family. No one actually cares that your daughter is gay, except maybe her lover,……SO WHAT?!?!?!?
          LGBT issues should not have to be shoved down anybody’s throat. They all can do whatever they like, when they like, with whomever they like. As long as it does not impose on me….I could give a rats a**! Now, the risk of me getting sued for who I hire, or who I rent a home to,…..now THAT is imposing on me. They don’t want “equality”…..they want “SPECIAL’ treatment. Well…..what exactly makes them so special??? Nothing!!!

          • Koolaid November 20, 2014 at 8:49 pm

            Nobody cares what you think. If you have a problem with different lifestyles of people as well as races and ethnic backgrounds, you ought to move. People are moving here whether you like it or not, and they are not coming here to adopt to the bigoted ways of people like that you express.

    • My Evil Twin November 12, 2014 at 3:58 pm

      Once again I will say it. Most people don’t have a clue your daughter is gay, because she doesn’t go around telling the world she is gay. That is all it takes. It is no big deal. You are what you are, and honestly, the vast majority of people don’t CARE what you are.
      Until you start rubbing our face in it. THEN YOU HAVE MADE IT YOUR OWN PROBLEM.
      It is no more acceptable for straight people to swap spit in public, than it is for gay people to. Go do your thing. Just please, GET A ROOM!

      • Zonkerb November 19, 2014 at 11:33 pm

        Yeah like anybody cares what think

        • My Evil Twin November 20, 2014 at 8:06 pm

          Does your mom know you are up so late? I guess it doesn’t matter, you can go down for your afternoon nap for a bit longer tomorrow.

  • An actual Independent November 12, 2014 at 5:37 pm

    One thing that gets overlooked here is that in St. George, minority status is a little different. I had the audacity to be born white and male. I LOOK just like the people who run everything here. But as a non religious, alcohol drinking and independently voting transplant, I certainly don’t fit in and am constantly told that I can just leave. Things would be easier if I was of a different (but fashionable) race and willing to pretend I give any credence to the ramblings of Joseph Smith.

    • Tight Magic Undies November 12, 2014 at 9:54 pm

      Speaking of good ol’ Joe, why no mention from StGNews of the newest revelations of the Mormon church about Smith? It’s lighting up the rest of the internet. Ol’ Joe is taking a beating on many a thread.

      • dancing infidel November 13, 2014 at 8:48 am

        “Ol’ Joe”…..hahahaha…..that’s a good one.

  • RICHARD C,word November 13, 2014 at 8:00 pm

    As my name implies me, Ed, socmom, mombear, and the rest of the filty bunch, we have a lot in common. Mainly we need to change and get ourselves cleaned up.

  • Zonkerb November 17, 2014 at 10:25 am

    Hey stupid twin why don’t you get a room and stay in it…

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